Hawaii’s Kilauea continues to erupt and the earth around it continues to rumble and crack apart, opening hellish fissures that scar the plush green countryside of the island.
More and more residents are being forced to flee the glacial advance of lava, the downpour of rocks and boulders falling back to earth after each volcanic burst and now Hawaiian residents have another threat to worry about: a clean energy plant that could go boom if steps are not taken to ‘kill it’ before the volcano uses it to amplify its destructive reign, reports Science Alert.
Perched atop an unstable area of land in Puna Pono is a clean energy plant owned by Reno, Nevada-based Ormat Technologies, called Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV).
Residents have long had issues with the plant, saying that it periodically releases hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas known to make people sick.
“This is one of the most unstable pieces of land on the entire planet, and they knew that,” said Robert Petricci, president of the Puna Pono Alliance watchdog group, who lives near the plant. “They built it anyway to make money.”
MilkyWay over Kilauea Volcano,Hawaii pic.twitter.com/IKwqCdJ7q5
— JTW Pilot Channel ✈️ (@jtwpilot) May 10, 2018
With the island now consumed by the violent awakening of Kīlauea, the PGV plant becomes a looming threat due to its harboring of toxic chemicals and geothermal wells that could vent enormous clouds of dangerous gases if they break during one of the many earthquakes and tremors rattling the island.
The wells, running up to 8,000 feet deep, act as vents for geothermal energy escaping the core of the planet. That energy is used to power turbines at the plant.
“Volcanologists know there is magma under and around the geothermal well fields,” County of Hawaii Council member Jennifer Ruggles, who represents western Puna, said in a statement Thursday night.
“The magma is moving and it is unpredictable. There is a real risk that the wells could be damaged.”
Two areas immediately nearby the PGV plant, Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, have been evacuated and the Hawaiian governor has moved tens of thousands of barrels of toxic chemicals to the far side of the island.
The Hawaiian volcano shows no signs of abating in its fiery reawakening thus leaving the PGV plant and residents with fears of an added catastrophe.
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